IOM Empowers More Than 200 Persons With Disabilities With Functional Literacy and Mobility Skills

Persons with Disability during Orientation and Mobility training in Tonj South. Photo: IOM/Jale Richard.

Tonj South —The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has empowered more than 200 persons with disabilities after completing a six-week training in English Braille, Sign Language, and Orientation and Mobility.

The graduation in Tonj South on 4 August was officiated by the Governor of Warrap State, Aleu Ayieny Aleu in Tonj South County, where 102 persons with disabilities including 26 females gained skills and knowledge in the use of English Braille, Sign Language, and orientation and mobility.

A similar event also took place in Aweil South County, where 140 people—40 of them female graduated with skills in the different categories.

The training involves teaching people who are visually impaired to read and write in Braille system. and sign language to enhance the participation in education of persons with speech impairment, as well as orientation and mobility, where visually impaired persons use white canes for their mobility and learn other skills for independence and socialization.

“Now I have my white cane, at least I can be able to slowly move around on my own without the help of an assistant,” says Deborah Nyanut, a visually impaired woman in Tonj South County.

“It is like IOM has given us new eyes because, with the training, we now know how to be aware of the environment and use the white cane for our mobility.

South Sudan has an estimated 1.2 million persons with disabilities, most of them marginalized due to institutional incapacities and the effects of war.

“Functional literacy is a critical skill for persons with disabilities to navigate the society around them. In South Sudan there is a great need of this especially in remote areas without sufficient services for persons with disabilities and as IOM we are directing our efforts towards bridging this gap,” says Muneyi Muchanyuka, IOM’s Protection Officer.

Supported by the United Nations Central Emergency Fund (CERF), the project, part of IOM’s broader Disability Inclusion seeks to reduce the physical, attitudinal and environmental barriers faced by persons with disabilities in South Sudan.

This is achieved through Functional Literacy targeting persons with disabilities including school-going children by training them on basic sign language and braille, and Mobility Orientation focusing on training persons with visual impairment on mobility orientation and providing them with white canes to enable their mobility.

SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities